All season long the New York Rangers have played a defense first system, and it worked, getting the Rangers a top seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Now their lack of goal scoring has put them in their second consecutive seven game series.
The Rangers have scored 13 goals this series, and have not scored 4 goals in a game since Game 1 against the Ottawa Senators. The Rangers have scored 3 goals twice this series. It was obvious that this was going to be a low scoring series, but with all the one goal games, the pressure is constantly being put on goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist is an All-World goaltender, but the pressure cannot be put squarely on his shoulders night after night. The Rangers have struggled to get a two-goal lead on the Caps this series. Except for Game 1, the Rangers have never lead by more than one goal.
Game 7 Saturday night looks to be no different from the other six games this series. It will be a tight defensive battle where one bounce could determine the outcome of the game.
The Rangers need to re-focus after their poor outing in Game 6 that saw them get beat in every aspect of the game by the Caps. Pucks to the net, players to the net, and relentless forecheck is what is needed for the Rangers to win Saturday night. This all begins with the Rangers level of intensity. The Caps have been taking the Rangers style and throwing it back in their face, and also with more firepower on offense.
Braden Holtby has been nothing short of stellar this series going 3-0 after losing a game. That also means that the Rangers found a way to beat Holtby in the other three games, The Rangers must get bodies in front of the net and distract Holtby, and not let the Caps block 25-30 shots a game.
And one more thing, shut down Ovechkin, the Caps go when he goes.